Mum left fuming after shopping centre Santa promises son, seven, £400 Lego toy

·Freelance Writer

A mother has blasted a shopping centre Santa Claus for apparently promising her son a £400 Star Wars toy for Christmas.

Linda Belnik, 35, and Joshua, seven, claim that Father Christmas ­gleefully talked about getting him a Death Star Lego set during the visit at Westfield in White City, West London.

Santa is alleged to have told them: “See this white phone? I will call the elves now and get them to make it for you.”

Linda said she could not afford the toy herself and it had put her in “an awkward position.”

She said: “I was stood there cringing. I couldn’t believe he’d promised such an expensive toy. Santas usually tell kids they’ll see what they can do, not promise anything.

Promise: Joshua (back) claims that Father Christmas told him he would get an expensive Star Wars Toy (SWNS)
Promise: Joshua (back) claims that Father Christmas told him he would get an expensive Star Wars Toy (SWNS)

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“It doesn’t matter if he wants a teddy bear, or a pony, he can’t promise something to a kid.

“As a parent, I had made the decision he would not be getting the set as it costs so much. It’s put me in a really awkward position.”

Joshua is now apparently confused, with mum saying he’s not getting the prezzie – while believing Santa said he is.

Linda added: “Santa has no idea what anyone’s financial ­situation is. It is wrong he’s ­promising toys. It sets kids up for disappointment if parents can’t afford it.

“I had already told Joshua he is not getting the present, so that’s why it’s even more upsetting as he now truly believes he is. He’s walking around saying Santa said he will get the toy.”

Furious: Linda said Santa has now made things awkward for her (SWNS)
Furious: Linda said Santa has now made things awkward for her (SWNS)

Linda complained to Westfield but they denied their Santa would make specific promises about presents.

Westfield said: “All grotto staff are trained and follow script guidelines which, under no circumstances, include the promise of specific gifts.

“The Santa has over 20 years’ ­experience and has not promised specific gifts to the child.

“Westfield is committed to providing the best experience for children and families.”

As a gesture of goodwill, the shopping centre offered a free ice-skating package for the family.

But Linda, a building company director from Camberley, Surrey, said: “It doesn’t help explain to my son why he’s not got his present on Christmas Day.”

She also stood by her and her son’s version of events, adding: “That’s what he said, end of.”

Top pic: SWNS

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